Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable. 36 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13: 31-35)
Ah, that tiny mustard seed and that good old leaven. They come back again to show us how each of us can be changed and, in that change, have a major effect when we live God’s word.
It’s all about yielding our lives to Jesus Christ, not for a moment, not for a day but in its entirety. Dedicating our lives and our families to Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus wants us to become the living 21st century illustration of this parable. He wants us to have the opportunity to experience the exhilarating growth of the mustard seed. As we root ourselves in him, we have every hope that, just like thousands of times before us in the history of the Church, we’ll get bigger again and many others will be able to nest in the branches that will come from this union. Christian influence rather than waning will wax. We just need to trust in him as the first Christians did.
The imagery of the bread is the whole world and we are called to be the leaven. Jesus teaches us essentially that one Christian in a neighborhood, or one truly Christian family on a street, one faithful Christian in a workplace or school should be enough over time to transform that neighborhood, street or school or workplace.
Just imagine the effect of a Christian exercising their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? What are those values that seem so different than the values portrayed in the media? That witness is a silent and powerful example.
That is evangelization! That is living your life for others. You don’t need to be an orator. You don’t need to look a certain way or to be someone else. You don’t need to be a street corner preacher. All you need to do is live a life that is in concert with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Funny but lately, I find myself with a new label. It doesn’t identify me as belonging to a political party, or a particular individual or a current way of thinking. But it is the identity that best defines me and my values.
When people ask which party I belong to, or whether I am conservative or liberal, I simply answer: “I am a Matthew 25 Christian”.
If we think that way, if we take on and live the values of a true Christian, not only does our faith grow, not only will our lives inspire us but we will be transformed. In that transformation, we will be ready to meet our God. When all the masks are removed, when all the words are silenced, we can stand before Him and simply say: “ I did my best to live your word.”
Prayer of The Day
“Heavenly Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and transform me into the Christ-like holiness you desire. Increase my zeal for your kingdom and instill in me a holy desire to live for your greater glory.”
The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God’s kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God’s word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Leaven is also a powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated – the staple of life for humans.